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Bullying and Autism, an Ongoing Issue

While typically developing children have their own battles with bullying at school, children with autism often make easy targets for this behavior. This latest bulling incident is particulary troubling given the parents.
Gregory Ruel Portland, Maine

Portland, Maine – WEBWIRE

According to the latest statistics posted on Autism Society, 1 in 88 children are now being diagnosed on the autism spectrum. For these children, a lack of appropriate social development for a given age can make them easy targets for bullies. Stories along these lines are popping up frequently, each troubling, but what can you say when the parents of the bullies actually rise to defend the actions of their children?

As reported on Think Progress and elsewhere, the latest case to make news was in Idaho, where parents took to blaming a child with autism and ADHD of being bullied. For his part, one bully’s father, Levi Weatherly states, "“Three-fourths of this stuff he brings on himself,” he said, “and probably a fourth of it is bullying that shouldn’t be going on.” While it’s clear to anyone with experience related to autism that involuntary actions and social confusion are part of the process, others persist that these actions can be controlled, you know, if the child really wanted to control it.

This September 2012 article from Medpage reports that nearly half of the children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder will be victims of bullying. Another article for Time around that period goes into greater detail about the sobering statistics and reason children on the spectrum make easy targets. Hopefully, as awareness about this issue continues to grow, more faculty and friends will keep an eye out for any bullying going on in the lives of their friend with autism. There’s perhaps much less hope for the parents of these bullies.

Drawing Roads
Gregory Ruel Portland, Maine


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 Autism Bullies
 Autism Struggles
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